Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Regulating To China Time

Mission log Days 2 and 3
Stardate 3/15 and 16, 2013

As the winged transportation device landed in Seoul on Friday 3/16 and the second leg of the journey landed at 10:55 pm on 3/16, Day 2 of the journey was practically non-existent due to the time difference  in the Mission area. Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister were easily able to find the green cab stands at the Hong Kong transportation hub and arrived at Hong Kong Disneyland a little after midnight on 3/16, so day 3 of the journey had officially begun. The cab ride was fast and furious and in the darkness the city was lit up. But the ever coveted Welcome to Disney sign picture could not be procured that night. The ride was short and inexpensive and check-in at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hollywood Hotel was easy and quick. In no time Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister were stepping into their home base for the next 2 nights during the regulating to China time phase of the mission. The room was true Disney style and felt very familiar and comfortable to the pair.

There was a towel animal waiting to greet them in the bathroom as well as cups with a Mickey ears top that was filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, showercaps, and qtips. The duo had not come across these at any other Disney resort they had visited.

Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister managed to rest/sleep from around 1:30 am until the alarm went off around 8:00am. This is regulate to China time, so no sleeping in! Breakfast was included in the package and what a spread it was! Both Asian and Western cuisine were represented. Forever Mama tried sweet corn congee (eh,pretty bland) dumplings(not sure what kind of meat, but yummy!) a sweet cocktail roll (?) and banana bread shaped like Mickey Mouse!

After breakfast, it was off to the park. The shuttle buses to the parks are very different than in Orlando. These were plush coach buses! A quick ride and the park was in sight. Tiredness and jetlag were forgotten as the Disney excitement began to build!

Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister loved all the character statues around and in the fountain before the enterance gates.

The entrance while smaller was quite reminiscent of Walt Disney World, including the landscaping!

As it happens, the park is listed as opening at 10:00, but the rides don't actually open until 10:30 (?!)!!

And then a look up Main Street Hong Kong style...
Yes, the castle is MUCH smaller than at WDW and Disneyland in CA. ForeverBig Sister found the Indian on this Main Street as well.
A closer view of the castle (smaller but still Disney!)
First stop? Winnie the Pooh! During the ride, Forever Mama looked at Forever Big Sister and asked "Are we in Orlando?" The ride is in English and exactly the same as WDW :)

The pair passed on the Mad Hatter Tea cups (didn't want to revisit breakfast!) and Cinderella's carousel.

Next up? It's a Small World (no the duo was not captured and put on this ride for torture, both love this ride!) The Hong Kong version is updated with the Disney Characters added into the scenes. The set-up is a litle different than WDW, but very enjoyable!

After exiting the ride, the pair headed off in search of Toy Story Land. Along the way was Sleeping Beauty just waiting for Princess Forever Big Sister. Operation meet at least one face character- complete!
The search for Toy Story land was sidetracked a bit as Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister came across Adventureland first. The duo decided to skip Tarzan's Treehouse (uh..jetlag, lots of stairs, cramming too many people on a raft to get to the stairs- No Thanks!)

Then came the Jungle Cruise. Here there was a choice of language for the cruise! Into the English line the pair went. Forever Mama has determined that the Hong Kong version of the Jungle cruise beats all of the other versions. The boats move very quickly, the broken english spiel is funny and engaging and there are more interesting scenes.

Also, no backside of water here! Instead there is a fire show!
After returning to land and after a turn of the corner, there was Toy Story Land! Operation meet at least one non-face character mission completed as well with the duo posing for a picture with Woody!

RC Racer was closed, so it was on to the parachutes. They go up high and give a birdseye view of Toy Story Land.

Then it was off to the newest section of the park, Grizzly Gulch, where Forever Big Sister rode the runaway mine cars of Grizzly Mountain. Her verdict? Enjoyable, but tame. Trying to blend in, Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister had their wanted pictures taken hoping that it might help in their cover for the final mission.

As the duo was leaving Grizzly Guilch, Forever Mama spotted the Mouse himself! Into the queue they went, but before they reached the front of the line, Mickey had to leave to go find a squatty potty. Soon he was headed back and "Eureka!" Minnie was with him! So the duo struck gold and had their images captured forever with Mickey and Minnie Grizzly Gulch style!
Mickey was very impressed with Forever Mama's Disneyworld shirt. He made a heart shape with his hands and gave Forever Mama a big hug!
As the pair was leaving Grizzly Gulch, they caught sight of the soon to be opened Mystic Manor which will be Hong Kong's equivalent to the Haunted Mansion. They both wished it was already open!
The duo wanted to see the Golden Mickeys show, so across the park the headed, but along the way they stopped for the obligatory in front of the Disney castle picture.
The Golden Mickeys Show was wonderful. It was in Chinese but had a monitor with English subtitles. From there it was on to Mickey's Philharmagic. Again the pair wondered if they were in Orlando! The same show and all in English!
After Philharmagic the duo headed to the Animation Academy. Forever Mama asked when the next class would take place and she was told "5 minute, but it is in Chinese" No worries! In they went and the artist reminded everyone again that the class was in Chinese (everyone else spoke Chinese except for Forever Mama and Forever Big Sister) The pair followed along watching the artists drawing since they could not understand the directions. At the end the artist stopped by to see how Forever Mama had done and in a very surprised voice said "Very nice. Good job!"

There was still time before the afternoon parade so off to Space Mountain, Hong Kong style. Forever Mama sat this one out, but Forever Big Sister enjoyed her ride.
Then it was off to find a spot for the parade. The parade was great and at the end they had a group of little kids carry the rope to signal the end of the parade.

After the parade the hunger pangs called for a meal. Forever Big Sister wanted a burger so off they went. They were given the choice of Chinese beef or upgrading to Australian beef. Since Forever Mama had not (and did not during the entire mission) seen a cow in China, they opted for the Australian beef burger and fries. Yum!! There was one ketchup packet each which did not go very far for the fries, but oh well!
After the meal, it was on to Buzz Lightyear. "Forever Big Sister are you sure we are not in Orlando?"
Then on to the Autotopia which is much bigger and better than the one in WDW.
While this part of the mission was to also include the Firework Show, the duo just could not make it until 8:00 pm and this part of the mision ended at 6:15 as they left the park and went back to the hotel and fell into bed!
Up next...Star Command we may have a problem!

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